SEX, LIES & SURVEILLANCE: A different kind of family business

The DeMarcos are not your typical family and DeMarco Investigations is not your typical family business.

Grace and Frank are former decorated US covert intelligence operatives. Oldest son Nic is a former Army Ranger and middle son Jimmy is a genius inventor.

And then there's Janey. There's no code she can't crack or firewall she can't breach. If it's floating around in cyberspace, she can find it. She keeps DeMarco Investigations running like a finely tuned machine. She gets Nic's reports written and makes sure Jimmy occasionally eats. She helps her mom keep her dad from doing too much work and if she has a few secrets of her own, well, why shouldn't she?

What she doesn't need is to fall for the new guy in the office, the smart, gorgeous and shy new investigator her parents hired to help out after her dad's recent heart surgery.

But Mal isn't exactly what he seems and Janey's determined to discover his secrets. But will she be able to keep her own as she falls for him?


Closing the door to her office behind her, Janey dropped into her chair with a sigh. The stack of new files on her desk taunted her and she groaned. Goddamn Nic. Her oldest brother had been busy the past two weeks, meaning she now had a ton of extra work.

She reached for the legal pad on top of the stack to fan her flaming cheeks, silently cursing her pigheaded, arrogant brother who refused to learn to type more than three words a minute. Letting out a muted screech, she tossed the notepad across the room. It hit the floor and fell to the ground with a completely unsatisfying flutter. No thump, no splat. Not like the sound her brother’s head would make if she—

“Oh, who are you kidding?” She crossed her arms over her chest and huffed, staring at the stack of folders. “You’re not angry with Nic.” She wished she could be angry with Nic and his indecipherable scribble. Then maybe she wouldn’t lust after Mal so damn much.

Damn the man, anyway. Why couldn’t he be a true computer geek, with bad skin and no personality,
talking about hard drives and networks all day?

How the hell did he manage to look so damn hot in those rumpled chinos and wrinkled dress shirts?

She shouldn’t be able to tell that those shirts hid a broad chest and shoulders. That his baggy pants  hung low on slim hips and hinted at a great ass. But she had noticed. She spent too damn much time noticing what those clothes covered.

She eyed the folders on her desk. Maybe she’d feel better if she threw those too. Probably not. She’d just have to pick them up.

“Ooh. I so do not need this now.”

It was the absolute wrong time for her to fall in lust. Not with her dad and the office and her work. And her work…

The problem was, she wanted him. Now. Yesterday. Since the first day she’d met him. Two months ago, he’d walked through the door for his first interview with her parents. She’s been pushing them for months to get help, to take some of the work load off her dad. It had been an ongoing battle but she’d finally worn them down.

Their first interview had been your typical male computer nerd from MIT. Brilliant but socially inept. Absolutely star-struck by her parents. And really, why wouldn’t he be? Jeez, she was their daughter and she occasionally had moments where she looked at her mom in amazement. But the  DeMarcos dealt with world business leaders, Hollywood stars and Washington politicos on a regular basis. No way could the guy have interfaced with clients.

The next day, Mal had walked through the door, a death grip on his battered leather briefcase. She’d smiled from behind her desk, tried to put him at ease. His eyes had widened for the briefest second, as if he hadn’t expected to see her. Then he’d nodded, shook her hand and stepped back, his gaze trained on the floor while he waited for her to tell her parents he was there.

Shy, she’d decided. Cute but shy.

Not shy enough to botch the interview, though. Her parents had hired him the next week. His first day of work, as she’d gotten him acquainted with the office layout, she’d caught him looking at her. Lingering looks that made her blood fizz.

It didn’t help that the guy was gorgeous, even with his messy shoulder-length brown hair that curled in odd places and his slightly crooked nose. His beautiful whiskey-tinged hazel eyes brimmed with  intelligence but he hid them behind delicate wire-framed glasses. Those glasses couldn’t detract from the strength of his features, though. Particularly in the mouth that had shown up in a few of her dreams. Dreams that always started with one hell of a kiss from those sexy lips.

It was a damn good thing she’d learned from the masters how to hide her feelings, because if Mal had any idea what she was thinking… Jeez, maybe if he’d known what she was thinking, they might have done something about it.

And that would lead to disaster.

Still… He was the first guy in years to spark her libido and her brain at the same time. They’d had several in-depth conversations about politics, the ethics of government internet control and one  debate about the superiority of the Buffalo Sabres over the Philadelphia Flyers that had left them both laughing.

But he was nothing like the man she’d always imagined she’d want. Before she’d met Mal, her ideal date was a cop or firefighter. An alpha male but not a chauvinist. Tough to find, especially in Philly, but there were some.

Okay, maybe one or two. Although she’d never met them. Not that she’d really tried all that hard.

Mal was…safe. He worked hard, didn’t ask for much and was exactly what the business needed. A brilliant IT geek who could dumb it down for the dimmest client. Whose fingers worked a keyboard with a finesse that should have been feminine but wasn’t. Oh, not by a long shot.

“Too perfect,” she muttered.

There was something about him that made her think he had secrets …

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